Hi Amin - here's the Humboldt Fog Chevre story


Cheese 5

Hi Amin - here's the Humboldt Fog Chevre story

kc girl | May 11, 2005 11:57 PM

Hi Amin,

Maybe this is the right board to answer your inquiry from the Food Names ABC link.

Like you were saying, I posted about Humboldt Fog cheese a while ago. It was after a trip to that area in August. I don't know that I went into great detail, but posted their website that explains. Here's more of the story of Humboldt Fog cheese.

Other have posted on Chowhound since then, maybe even before, about Cypress Grove "Humboldt Fog" chevre or their new "Midnight Moon," a firm goat cheese aged one year from the newly developed Cypress Grove Cream Line label. See, [BROKEN LINK REMOVED]

They have served Humboldt Fog Chevre here in my area at a a rather new place called Montage Resort and Spa. And, I know they had it on the menu at the ever grand Gramercy Tavern in New York. Like I said, I am not a cheese afficienado, yet know you can find this cheese from the salty shore area of Arcata, California in many places, including restaurants, some grocery stores or organic co-ops. Something by the maker makes it special.

The Humboldt Fog cheese is a soft goat's milk cheese with a layer of ash in the middle and in the original outer coating before it ages. This wheel has twin layers of flaky goat cheese, separated by a fine line of vegetable ash, a traditional French technique that historically helped protect the curds of one milking while the cheese awaited the next milking.

See also,

This cheese won 1st Prize for American Original Cheese at the most recent American Cheese Society competition in Washington, D.C. in August 2002.

They also have "Purple Haze," a chevre coated with Lavender buds mixed with wild harvested fennel pollen. They say "the sweet flavor is wonderful as a dessert with honey and almonds or in a main dish with lamb."

See the Cypress Grove link below.

Humboldt County is located in Northern California, USA, on the coast near the Oregon border. (see, )

News article about the progress and expansion of Cypress Grove Chevre at

From this link (see, )
you can see the location of the creamery/farm in McKinleyville and surrounding areas of Eureka, Arcata, and Trinidad.

Just north in Trinidad (about 10 minutes past Arcata airport on Hwy 101) is a national park on the rocky cliffs called Patrick’s Point (see, and ) There are several "campsites" and/or picnic areas at Patrick's Point. We all met for a picnic at the Wedding Rock area inside the park. And, we hiked over to Ceremonial Rock. I had made some lemon verbena tea with honey from some loose leaves I bought at Moonrise Herbs, a store in Arcata on a street just on the perimeter of a Saturday farmer's market in the town square where I bought fresh ingredients for a salad. Everyone brought something. Oh my, the chocolate coconut caramel bars Steve brought! Anyway, my "tour guide" has lived in the area since about 1965, so we met a few familiar faces while shopping. Once we arrived at Patrick's Point, we saw his son had brought his brand new, double grill gas bbq and we had an exquisite picnic and a hike on cliff rocks several feet above the ocean that seemed a worn Scottish castle tower to some of us. Alas, one of the young daughters fed the seasoned cashews from Wildberry’s Marketplace in Arcata to the squirrels >>> and we just let her! Booo.

Anyway, that coastline area of Humboldt County has night and morning fog almost all year. Thick and dense sometimes until noon! That is why they call the cheese Humboldt Fog. Why Mary Keehn was drawn to that particular area to start her business, I don't know, but can only guess by seeing the area myself. Her story can be found at

Towering misty Redwood trees and the scenic rocky northern California coastline lured Mary Keehn to Humboldt County where she established Cypress Grove Chèvre in 1984. Maybe she thought the conditions were good for the goats? or similar to the area in France where they make chevre? What lures an artist anyway? I've known a few. Mary Keehn states "I am a self-taught cheese maker who learned to make cheese the same way I learned to cook. I read every book and recipe I could find and started to improvise! On my first visit to France, about 12 years after starting Cypress Grove Chèvre, I found that our recipe and method were almost exactly the same as those of the cheese makers we visited in Provence."

Well, there you go. I was given a tour of the area by people who lived there, so I didn't really have to research much beforehand. But, I sure saw much while I was there. It's the only place they make the Humboldt Fog cheese.


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